Published: 4 December 2008
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 192 pages
Somewhere Towards The End
The Costa Biography award winning memoir on the pleasures and pains of old age.
What is it like to be old? Diana Athill made her reputation as a writer with the candour of her memoirs - her commitment, in her words, 'to understand, to be aware, to touch the truth'. Now in her nineties, and freed from any inhibitions that even she may once have had, she reflects frankly on the losses and occasionally the gains that old age brings, and on the wisdom and fortitude required to face death. This is a lively narrative of events, lovers and friendships: the people and experiences that have taught her to regret very little, to resist despondency and to question the beliefs and customs of her own generation.
‘[She has] a cold eye for reality and no time for sentimental lies’ Jenny Diski
‘Exhilarating and comforting, so much good sense, candour and liveliness of spirit in such clean, clear prose’ Simon Gray
‘Her brilliant book is entirely lacking in the usual regrets, nostalgia and Hovis-ad recollections of old-timers. It is a little literary gem, penned by a marvellous, feisty old character ... What a treasure’
‘Part exposé, part treatise on old age, the book is a ruminative read’
‘The book is a moving and humorous account of old age, unsparing about its indignities, unflinching from the inevitability that the end can not be many years away, but full of joy at the way life keeps on, at the most unexpected moments, renewing itself’
‘What sets her apart is the flagrancy and wit of her writing ... her memoirs display a vivacious appreciation of the life she has lived and what is still to come’